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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — After spending four decades protecting civil rights, the longtime head of Florida’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is stepping down.

Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU Florida, says he is retiring at the end of the month.

The 75-year-old Simon has spent the past 40 years leading American Civil Liberties Union chapters in Michigan and Florida.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports that Simon spent more than two decades with the Florida chapter.

Under his guidance, the ACLU Florida fought to strike down restrictions on abortion access and battled a gag order on doctors talking to patients and their families about the safe storage of guns.

He also clashed with then-Gov. Jeb Bush over a woman’s right to die and, most recently, championed the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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